“I have read on your website how to answer people who argue that Jesus can’t be God because He calls the Father ‘My God’ at John 20:17. I understand how to explain that when Jesus called the Father ‘My God’ in John, He was saying it as a ‘man’ because He was under the limitations of His humanity, but here at Revelation 3:12, Jesus is from Heaven calling the Father His ‘God’. Since Jesus is glorified as God at this point, why is He still calling the Father ‘My God’?”
You are correct that in many instances where Jesus calls the Father “My God” on earth, it is from His human perspective, but here in Revelation, He is speaking as God Himself. In addition to Jesus’ humanity, there is another aspect in which the Father is Jesus’ “God” and that is in the area of His submission to the will of the Father. Jesus has always been and will always be under the authority of the Father because this is how the Trinity functions as 1 Corinthians 15:28 explains:
“When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”
Throughout Scripture, we read how the Father directs the Son (1 Corinthians 11:3) and Holy Spirit (John 3:34; 14:16). That is why Jesus calls the Father “God” when He is in His Divine Nature. This would be like your son calling you “the Man of the House”. When your son calls you “the Man”, he does not mean to imply that he is less human than you, does he? Of course not! So, it is with Jesus calling the Father “My God”. He is not saying that the He is less “God” because the Father is His God. Rather, He is demonstrating that He is still under the authority of His Father God.
In addition to seeing Jesus and the Holy Spirit under the authority of the Father, we also read that the Son directs the Holy Spirit under the will of the Father (Galatians 4:6; John 15:26). So just as in a family where the wife and children follow the lead of the father (1 Corinthians 11:3), so it is with the order of the Trinity. Thus, the authority structure looks like this:
Just as this authority structure that exists within the human family doesn’t change the fact that the wife and children are just as much “human” as the “husband” or “father” is, so it is with the Triune God. The simple fact that Jesus is under the Father’s authority doesn’t change the fact that Jesus, in His Divine nature, is just as much “God” as His Father is “God”. As John 5:18 explains:
“For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”
So being under authority doesn’t make a person less human or in Jesus’ case, less God, than His Father.
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